VIDEO: Mora on USC Week

Coach Jim Mora talked Tuesday about the quality of practice, and the UCLA/USC rivalry, and his own memories of it...

Opening Statement:
Good practice. It was fun to see them come out here, good to see them bounce back and have one of our best practices of the year, quite frankly. They were geared in and locked in. The tempo was great and the execution was. You always worry after a tough loss, a real emotional loss, a loss where you have to fight back in it at the end and don't quite get it done. You don't know how they're going respond. I have to say they responded like I thought they'd respond. They went back out to work and they had a good attitude and they're excited about this game. I think we'll have a good week and we're excited for Saturday.

On Marqise Lee:
He's struggled this year because of injury. That guy in my opinion, having a defensive back background, I've watched a lot of great receivers in my day and he's as special as they get. The guy he reminds me most of that I faced in the NFL is Marvin Harrison. Has all the attributes of a great receiver, he's fast, he's quick, he's elusive, he's acrobatic, he plays with great confidence. He always has a smile on his face, he loves to compete. He can get off the bump and run, he can stop on a dime and run great routes. He's a great, great, great football player.

On if he still looks limited:
I think any time you play that position and have some lower body issues, it affects you but he's a guy that fights through it. I have a lot of respect for his toughness. You can tell he's not 100% healthy, but that doesn't mean a lot when you're talking about Marqise Lee. I think he's one of the best in country. Last year I thought he was the best in the country and I have no reason to not think that this year. Maybe his numbers aren't up, but that's because of the amount that he's played.

On what he needs to see in the next to games to see the team is at a higher level:
We're very close. It's quite simple. It's experience. We are an incredibly young football team. And every time that we fight our butts off and get a win, we learn something. Every time we get into a battle and fight back like we did on Saturday, we learn something about ourselves. We're taking the next level and we're moving up the mountain. We've just got to get older and get more mature and that's a process. There is no magical formula, there is no magical fairy dust you can sprinkle on a freshman and say 'now you're a junior'. Unless someone has it and I just don't know about it.

On what he's seen from Ed Orgeron since he took over:
Enthusiasm and passion. It looks like they're having a lot of fun playing football. Confidence. He gave them a real spark. He really did. I think when you come into a situation like that where you're an interim coach and the likelihood of you being retained, at least from the outside perception, and who knows what's going on over there, but it frees you up to get after it. Coach O, I think everyone who knows him knows he has an infectious personality and you see it in the way his team plays. I'm just going to tell you, I don't know if I'm allowed to tell you this, but I voted for him for Pac-12 Coach of the Year last night. That's what I think of the job he's done.

On if he's seen a tactical shift from him:
Not a lot, maybe a little bit. Little more 4-man line on defense, less three man line. More just the confidence that they're playing with. And the enthusiasm and you see that when they play. I think it's just a great credit to Coach O.

On memories of the UCLA-USC rivalry:
I remember being on the sidelines when Wendell Tyler was playing. My memory is of both teams playing in the Coliseum in their home uniforms. So this game is going to take me back to when I was 11 or 12, the last time I was in the Coliseum for a UCLA-USC game. USC won that day. You guys would know better than I would. I was 11 or 12. That was a long time ago. My dad was coaching at UCLA then.

On if they'll still both be wearing home uniforms:
Yes, home and home. I think it's a great tradition. I think it's colorful, I think it accentuates the pageantry and the tradition of this game and it's what we should do. I'm glad that whoever decided to do that before I got here, I'm glad they decided to do that because I think it's great. It's what I remember most of when I was a kid watching the game, the uniforms at the Coliseum.

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